Leading with questions

I was preparing for our company celebration of CX Day 2018  on Tuesday and was reminded of this great interview with Warren Berger on the IDEOU site. The interview drills into the power of questions, and how the right question can lead to a breakthrough and real innovation. The bit that sticks out for me is the question that led to the Polaroid instant camera:

One of my favourite questions is the question that led to the Polaroid Instant Camera back in the 1940s. The four-year-old daughter of the founder of Polaroid asked: Why do we have to wait for the picture? One of the reasons why four-year-olds are good at asking questions is because they don’t have a lot of assumptions and they look at things with a beginner’s mind … Many things begin with a question. It’s this catalytic force. When you arrive at an interesting question and take ownership of that question, it can lead you to innovation.


My take away: when you’re leading a group of creative people, you don’t need all of the answers; you don’t need your assumptions or your preconceived options for a solution; often you just need a really great question!